THE US Supreme Court today cleared the way for the first execution of a woman after the government of President Donald Trump pushed for the application of the death penalty.
Lisa Montgomery, 52, is the first woman in death row to be executed by federal authorities since 1953 but her case went on despite doubts about her mental state.
She is set to receive a lethal injection later today in Terre Haute, Indiana, after a series of legal rulings.
The Court ruled in favour of the Trump administration, giving the Bureau of Prisons the authority to proceed with her execution following her conviction and sentence in 2007 for killing a pregnant 23-year-old woman in order to steal her baby in 2004.
Unable to have a child, Montgomery carefully identified her victim — 23-year-old dog breeder Bobbie Jo Stinnett — online under the guise of buying a puppy. She later went to Stinnett’s home, where she strangled her to death and cut the baby from her body and left Stinnett dead in a pool of blood.
On Monday evening, a federal judge granted the defence a victory, ordering a stay of execution to allow time to assess Montgomery’s mental state.
But an appeals court overturned the decision yesterday, leaving it up to the US Supreme Court to decide.
However, a statement by her lawyer, Kelley Henry, called the decision a “vicious, unlawful, and unnecessary exercise of authoritarian power.”
Henry’s statement is predicated on his defence for Montgomery that she suffers from severe mental health issues stemming from the abuse she suffered as a child. According to them, she does not understand the meaning of her sentence, a prerequisite for execution.